Happy Thanksgiving! And now let’s decorate for Christmas.

OK, you can wait until Black Friday is over. But after that, you have no excuse. Toss out the turkeys. Begone garlands of autumn leaves. Pumpkin-shaped candle holders? Ptooey. And finally, out with those orange candles.

When our two children were very young, my husband and I were like a well-oiled machine. Once the Thanksgiving dishes were washed and the good china returned to the hutch cupboard, the holiday decorating began, I dragged out the green and red bins out of the bowels of the basement.

We are still like that, even though now one child is gone and one is about to fly to the coop. Does that mean the over-the-twinkle-top decorating was for me not them? Nonsense. They loved it, too.

But I must say that our decorating has calmed down a bit. A decade ago, our little Lakewood house was almost obscured by (over the years) the following outside decor: An 8-foot in circumference, blow-up snow globe that eventually shot styrofoam balls over our yard that we were still picking up in the spring; a four-car toy train with rotating lights that by the end had only two of eight wheels lit up; a 10-foot high inflated Santa that just annoyed me; a total of five reindeer over the years that deserved to be culled from Santa’s team for non-performance of duty; two white Christmas trees that managed to last a record-breaking three years before the lights started puttering out; and last but certainly not least, a Countdown to Christmas clock that literally ticked down the minutes and seconds to midnight on Christmas Eve, starting on Dec. 1.

I had a love/hate relationship with that clock. Well, mostly hate. The hypnotic ticking-down numbers always seemed ominous, like a Santa doomsday clock. Can you imagine being our across-the-street neighbor and watching that for nearly 24 days? (OK, I secretly enjoyed thinking about that. This is the same neighbor who put a plow in their front yard one year. A plow. In Lakewood.)

That darn clock lasted for at least five years. Of course it did. It died our last Christmas in that house before we moved. I felt it was prophetic as we prepared to enjoy a new house in a new neighborhood.

For our new house, we splurged on a herd of pretty fancy, glitter-covered deer from Costco. The family of three cost a fortune and lasted only 1 ½ seasons before dying. One day the lights worked and the heads quizzically and reliably moved from side to side every two minutes. The next day they didn’t. Nothing worked. We tried everything short of mouth-to-glitter-snout resuscitation. Nothing worked. Nearly $300 down the North Pole drain.

This year we are primarily relying on lights and a few small yard decor items. But I will make sure those lights can be seen from the International Space Station.

I have a reputation to uphold, after all.

Contact this reporter at editor@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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